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BIBL 1100 Introduction to Biblical Studies Exegetical Assignment 2-The Synoptic Gospels Option TEMPLATE The Passage: Matthew


Prof. Stephen P. Riley

Directions: Please fill in the sections colored RED with your own information. If it is not in RED, just leave it blank! When a section is RED, simply type under that line by hitting the RETURN key and then typing your information from your research in the space. You will want to change the color of the font to something other than red or black, perhaps green or blue so that I can tell the difference between your information and the other stuff. 1. The Exegetical Assignment will require you to follow these steps in order for you to reach the ultimate goal writing a one sentence thesis about how your passage functions in its particular Gospel and then defending your thesis in a 5 to 7 sentence paragraph. 2. STEP ONE-The first thing you need to do is get a sense of your passage and how it relates to its context. a. First, much like the first assignment, read through Matthew 12:9-14 in one sitting and pay attention to the words, images, and themes. Mark things that seem to be important, things, which are familiar, and unfamiliar to you. Note: You might want to look at a couple of different translations to see if any words are translated differently to determine if there is something tricky going on. Important: The Pharisees wanted a way to fault Jesus so they found away for him to break the commandments of Moses so they could openly and publicly punish and scorn Jesus without being attacked themselves. This is the first time that it is mentioned that the Pharisees are starting to plot to take Jesus life because of what he teaches. Familiar: The fourth commandment of Moses was Keep the Sabbath holy is it not lawful to heal on the Sabbath. They asked. The synagogue is where teachers of the law went to read the law or have lessons for the pupils. Unfamiliar: Why does Matthew address the synagogue as their synagogue in verse 9? Wasnt the synagogue a place where the Rabi could speak and teach lessons? Matthew sets up this passage as though Jesus had not intention of healing the man with the shriveled hand and he was just used to get back at the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Has Jesus healed on the Sabbath before? b. Second, look at the larger context of your passage. What comes immediately before and after your passage? What is happening in the larger, 3 to 4 chapters, and context? Remember, you dont have to read every word, but you should look at enough to be able answer the question of what is happening before and after your passage. Before this passage: Jesus and his disciples are walking through some grain fields. The disciples get hungry and start to pick heads of grain and eat them. This is however the Sabbath and Pharisees point this out to Jesus. Look Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath. c. Third, based on this initial research, write a one or two sentence hypothesis about what your passage is about within its particular Gospel. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE PASSAGE MEANS TO YOU but what you think it is supposed to mean in relationship to the rest of the Gospel story. 3. STEP TWO-The second thing you need to do is look at your passage in the other two Synoptic Gospels. a. First, look at your passage in Mark 3:1-6 and repeat step one for it except for part c. Step 1, part a Step 1, part b S. Riley BIBL 1100 Exegetical Assignment 2 1

b. Second, look at your passage in Luke 6:6-11 and repeat step one for this one as well except for part c. Step 1, part a Step 1, part b c. Third, make a list of the parts that are exactly the same and that are different in the various stories. You might want to make sections that are titled all three, Mark and Matthew, Matthew and Luke and then under each one list what is the same and what is different. See Table below as example: All three Gospels The Same Jesus heals a mans hand on the Sabbath. Pharisees are looking for away to get Jesus in trouble All happens in the Synagogue Different Matthew: starts off with the Pharisees talking to Jesus. Jesus uses a comparison between a sheep and the man. Mark: Jesus goes into the synagogue with a purpose of healing this man. Luke: Tells you what Jesus was doing in the templeteaching. The mans right hand was shirviled. The Pharisees and teachers of the law opposed to some of them (mark) or they (matthew)

Matthew and Luke Matthew and Mark 4. STEP THREE-The third thing you need to do is understand the context of each Gospel. a. This step will require some Library work. b. First, you will need to read ONE (1) introductory article for each of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Anchor Bible Dictionary, The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, or The New Interpreters Bible. You can read individual commentaries on Mark, Matthew, or Luke BUT you can only read the INTRODUCTORY information, NOT the commentary on your passage! c. When you read these articles DONT get overwhelmed with the information! What you need to look for in these articles are answers to these questions: What kind of person was it that wrote this Gospel? (We obviously know a name but what kind of person was Matthew or Mark or Luke) How might their background influence the way they told the Jesus narrative? When was the Gospel written? What possible times are given for the writing of Jesus story? What significant events were happening at the same time? How might those events influence the purpose of this telling of the Jesus narrative? To whom was the Gospel originally primarily written? What is significant about this group?

S. Riley

BIBL 1100 Exegetical Assignment 2

DONT let yourself get caught up in endless scholarly debates about what was original or if Jesus really said certain things. These are debates that people have, some of which are interesting, BUT they are not important for this assignment. d. Second, after you have read an introductory article for each Gospel and have an answer to the three questions, you should try to write a one-sentence summary about the original context for each Gospel. For example, you might write, The Gospel of Matthew, written by a first century Jewish Jesus follower, was intended for Jewish Jesus followers who wanted to show that their belief in Jesus was consistent with their Jewish heritage. (Of course, you cant use this sentence now-its mine and using it would constitute plagiarism.) MATTHEW MARK LUKE e. While youre at the Library, look up any of the unfamiliar stuff from your passage that you think might be helpful in understanding the meaning and function of your passage in its particular gospel. 5. STEP FOUR-The fourth thing you need to do sit down with your passage one more time. a. This time take all your notes and research and read your passage with a fresh set of eyes and answer these questions: How is your passage related to what comes before it in your gospel? How is that different or similar to the other two Synoptic Gospels? How is your passage ordered? What happens first, second, third, etc.? How is that similar or different to the other two Synoptic Gospels? How are the characters described and what do they do in your passage? Do they show up in the previous or following passages in your Gospel? How is that similar or different to the other two Synoptic Gospels? What is the main theme in your passage and how does it connect with the previous and following passages in your Gospel? How is that different or similar to the other two Synoptic Gospels?

6. STEP FIVE-The final thing you need to do is review your research from steps 1-4. Taking your information and answers to the various questions, now try writing a one sentence thesis about how your passage functions in its particular Gospel. a. By this I mean for you to answer the question, What point do you think your passage was intended to make within its particular Gospel for its intended context? b. After youve written your thesis I want you to defend your thesis in a 5 to 7 sentence paragraph. These sentences should support your thesis with evidence youve gained from your research. You might compare your passage with the other Synoptic Gospels. You might show what youve learned about the author and original context of your Gospel. You might show something about the larger literary context of your passage to support your thesis. You must write at least 5 additional sentences to your thesis and no more than 7 sentences. c. WRITE YOUR HYPOTHESIS AND SUPPORTING SENTENCES HERE!!! TO FINISH: S. Riley BIBL 1100 Exegetical Assignment 2 3

1. Take all your notes, observations, questions, and answers (prayer requests can be submitted elsewhere-I hear we have a chaplain). 2. Go to the class website and download the Exegetical Assignment #2 Template. 3. Type your stuff in the appropriate sections. 4. Save the file as something like Your last name-BIBL 1100 Exegetical Assignment 2 5. Drop it in the drop box labeled Exegetical Assignment 2. 6. Thus you shall be done! Due Date: Weight: Wednesday, April 11th by 3:20 p.m. 100 points toward final grade-Each Step is worth 20 points.

S. Riley

BIBL 1100 Exegetical Assignment 2